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Sara Bunny - Six Of The Best Things To Do In Southland

Author
Sara Bunny,
Section
Travel,
Publish Date
Thursday, 4 August 2016, 3:30PM

Venture to the bottom of the country and you’ll not only find a warm welcome, but a range of activities to suit the whole family.

Escape to Stewart Island
Amere 20 minutes flight, or a one-hour ferry ride away, Stewart Island is a tramper’s paradise. But you don’t have to be Bear Grylls to get amongst the wildlife – with everything from 10 minute forest walks to 12 day treks on offer, there is something for all fitness levels. Nature lovers won’t want to miss a day trip to pest-free Ulva Island sanctuary, and fishing fans can jump on a charter and hunt for the freshest blue cod in Foveaux Strait.

Stroll through the Catlins
Take a scenic walk through one of the Catlins tracks and you just might see Yellow-eyed penguins, Hectors dolphins, fur seals, sea lions and elephant seals, not to mention lush native bush and rugged, untouched beaches. Don’t miss the Jurassic forest at Curio Bay, and the spectacular Cathedral caves at Waipati Beach.

Cruise around Fiordland
Jump on a boat at Fiordland National Park and marvel at the jaw-dropping scenery of Milford and Dusky Sounds. If you want to get even closer to the sea life, drop into the Underwater Observatory at Piopiotahi Marine Reserve, Milford Sound. Visitors can descend a staircase into a large underwater viewing room, where you can watch the fish coming and going in their natural habitat.

Explore Bluff
Whether you want to hit the golf course, visit the Maritime Museum, or mountain bike up Bluff Hill, there is plenty to keep you entertained in this seaside spot. Be sure to take a drive to Stirling Point for a selfie with the town’s iconic signpost, which displays the distances to major cities throughout the world.

Relax in Invercargill
Wander through the town and you’ll see a range of historical buildings, including the English Renaissance style Civic Theatre, the stately former Bank of New South Wales, New Zealand’s first public hospital, and the Italian Romanesque style First Presbyterian Church. Art lovers should stop by Anderson Park Art gallery, while cycle fans can see what’s on at the world class Stadium Southland Velodrome.

Take to the skies in Gore
Aviation buffs will be in their element at the Croydon Heritage Centre and Aircraft Company, where visitors can see vintage aircraft, watch restorers at work, and even take a ride in a Tiger Moth plane! There is also plenty on offer for those who prefer to stay grounded, including guided fly and trout fishing trips, impressive art at the Eastern Southland Gallery, lush greenery at the public gardens, and history galore on the Gore Heritage Trail.

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